After seeing “a bunch of Bernie Sanders stuff” on a car he was dispatched to tow, Kenneth Shupe “very politely” told the woman in the car that he wouldn’t tow her because she was “obviously a socialist” and should “call the government” to give her a tow.
Shupe, owner of Shupee Max Towing in Traveler’s Rest, S.C., told the local Fox station, WHNS-TV, he has decided to stop servicing Bernie Sanders supporters because they stiff him on payment.
“[In] every business dealing in recent history with a socialist-minded person, I have not gotten paid,” Shupe told WHNS-TV. “Every time I deal with these people I get ‘Berned’ with an ‘e’ not a ‘u’.”
Shupe is a self-proclaimed conservative Christian in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and although he refuses to do business with Sanders supporters, he has said that he respects their beliefs, and hopes they respect his.
The daughter of the Sanders supporter left stranded by Shupe, Kelle McWade, posted a message on Facebook criticizing Shupe for his actions:
Heads up, friends…. Cass had a wreck in Asheville yesterday. She is fine, but the car was not driveable. We called our mechanic who was tied up in Easley at the time, so he sent Shupee Max Towing to get her. Kenneth Shupe drove from Traveler’s Rest to Asheville, hooked up her car, and when he went around to the back, he came back and told her that he wouldn’t tow her because she had a Bernie sticker on the back of the car. HE LEFT HER ON THE SIDE OF THE INTERSTATE IN NC, and DROVE AWAY. Spread this bigot’s story far & wide. Btw, I’m guessing he’s a Trump supporter. The only difference is that the Don would have taken the money, because he at least realizes that liberals’ money spends just the same as anyone else’s. [He] cost himself money driving all the way to Asheville & back for nothing.
Although McWade and others have been claiming Shupe violated non-discrimination laws, Greenville Attorney Steve Sumner confirmed to WHNS that it is not illegal to deny service on the grounds of political affiliation, because it is not a protected belief.
“As long as there is no contract between the driver and the tow truck company then there is no legal obligation for the tow truck company to pick her up,” Sumner told WHNS.
Since the incident, Facebook users have been attacking Shupee Max Towing’s Facebook page with negative reviews and angry comments. The small, family-owned business now has a 1.2-star rating through over 1,500 ratings.
Shupe posted a defense of himself:
Which resulted in commenters claiming his actions were “un-Christian”:
Follow Philip DeVoe on Twitter @PhilipDeVoe